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Causes of Constipation in Dogs

Constipation itself is a symptom, not a disease. It’s a sign that something’s amiss in your dog’s system. The cause can be something as minor as her diet or as serious as a neuromuscular or metabolic disorder.

Causes of Constipation in Dogs


Often, what your dog ingests is the cause of her constipation. This can be what you feed her or what she feeds herself — including dog food that is low in fiber, hair ingested from self-grooming or licking the floors, or bones, pieces of toys, dirt, gravel or anything else that can be difficult to eliminate.

Other triggers of constipation are:

  • Medication side effects
  • Lack of exercise
  • Dehydration
  • An obstruction in or outside the colon wall
  • An obstruction at the anus
  • Neurologic, metabolic or endocrine disorders
  • Enlarged prostate gland (in male dogs)
  • Hernia
  • Orthopedic disorders that cause pain when crouching
  • Old age
  • Missed meals

You will need to have a veterinarian investigate the specific cause of your dog’s constipation.

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